Posted: 29 Mar 2011 Last revised: 10 Aug 2011
This research proposal will outline an investigation of the potential benefits and risks of hiring ex-offenders by family owned firms and entrepreneurs and what signals might positively differentiate one ex-offender from the next. Every year, over 600,000 offenders are released into society and the work force, which is four times as many as were released in 1975. There is considerable resistance by firms to hire ex-offenders because of their stereotypic views regarding ex-offenders. Family owned firms and entrepreneurs can take advantage of this motivated workforce to replace baby boomer retirees, gain tax advantages, pay lower wages and positively impact their image. A key to hiring an ex-offender that fits best in the firm is to look for signals the ex-offender gives as to their potential as an employee. These signals can include church involvement, satisfying their probation requirements, moving away from their old neighborhood, entering a job training program, and recommendations from their parole officer. Family owned firms and entrepreneurs have more discretion than non-family owned firms in the operation of their business. The purpose of this research is to explore how family owned firms and entrepreneurs view this potential opportunity and how it might provide strategic benefits to their organizations as they strive to be more competitive in the marketplace. By hiring ex-offenders family owned firms and entrepreneurs may be able to increase their wealth, boost their image, and replace a shrinking workforce while reducing the risks of ex-offenders by properly detecting and interpreting the signals they convey.
Keywords: Ex-Offenders, Signaling Theory, Opportunity Recognition, Family Owned Firms, Entrepreneurs
JEL Classification: J11, J21, J71, M12, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Williams, David Lindsey and Ferguson, Keith Edmund, Ex-Offenders, Family Owned Firms, and Entrepreneurs: A Study of Signals. Academy of Business Research International Meeting 2011 Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1797122